BLOG TOPIC: Packing & Move-in

One of the most common concerns first-year BGSU students have is knowing what to pack and how much to pack. Each individual is unique with what they will want to bring, but for essential needs refer to the BGSU Packing List. Use the advice below from students who live on campus as a guide.

Helpful tip: There are multiple three-day weekends and breaks throughout the year allowing you to go home and swap out clothes and other items. You don't need everything for the entire year on move-in day.

The student advice on this page was written by Residence Life Student Hall Ambassadors. Their advice is their personal opinions but content has been edited for accuracy. The opinions of these students do not necessarily reflect the opinions of BGSU or the Office of Residence Life. For the most up-to-date information about dates and processes, please go to

Advice from...

Kelsie outside by the Offenhauer sign. Click to read Kelsie's blog post.
Hayden smiling at the camera with a female friend. Click to read Hayden's blog post.
Photo of Veronica with mascots Freddie and Freida. Click to read Veronica's blog post.
Photo of Deyante smiling at the camera. Click to read Deyante's blog post.
Photo of Mariah holding her dog. Click to read Mariah's blog post.
Photo of Brad with his little sister on his shoulders. Click to read Brad's blog post.
Kaylee in Conklins community kitchen. Click to read Kaylee's blog post.
Photo of Sara in the Founders Lobby. Click to read Sara's blog post.

Offenhauer Towers Hall Ambassador . Class of 2021 . Toledo, Ohio . VCT Major

Honestly, I am probably the worst person to ask for advice about packing for college because I am a pack rat and I like to be over-prepared. I know for my first year I brought way too much stuff and I did my best to tone it down for my second year. I would honestly just look at the packing list Res Life puts out because it lays out everything perfectly. I would suggest talking to your roommate about who is bringing the microwave and the mini fridge. You can also decide if you both want your own TV and if you want a futon in your room.

For Offenhauer specifically, the bathrooms are community style, so I suggest bringing flip flops, a shower caddy, and a robe/towel wrap. The double bedrooms are the biggest rooms on campus, so you have a little more freedom to rearrange the furniture. They come with wardrobes for your closest place, and one big dresser with four drawers.

The front desk of all the dorms provides a lot of things like vacuums, pots and pans to cook in the kitchen, games, movies, and many other things. There is also a computer lab in each hall. I chose to bring my own printer and vacuum, so I would just have them in my own room. It is up to you if you want to bring those. It does cost a small fee to pay to print on campus, but laundry is free.

As I said, before I brought a lot to campus my first year. After my first year, I realized did not have much free time outside of classes and homework, so I knew I would bring much less my second year. For extra things, I brought photos of my friends and family, specific snacks I like, some books to read, my TV, and some coloring books and supplies.

Move in day is just a very overwhelming and chaotic day. As I suggested before, pack light so you won’t have much stuff as me. Some of the lines can be really long, so stay calm and hydrated. Once you move in, you can rearrange the room however you want. Make it comfy and cozy because this is where you will be living for the rest of the school year. Good luck!

McDonald Hall Ambassador . Class of 2022 . Defiance, Ohio . Education Major .

On move-in day, be prepared to work. To start, you will walk into your new residence hall and check-in at the front desk or somewhere in the lobby. From there you will either start unpacking or you’ll drive to another entrance of the building. There will be volunteers in and around the building that will help you unload your vehicle. Once you get to your room, it may seem daunting to unpack but it will slowly start to seem less cluttered. It can be a bit hectic because you are trying to get settled in while your roommate is also trying to get unpacked. With all those people in the room, it can be very crazy... and very warm.

While packing it may be difficult to decide what to bring and what not to bring. My advice to you is to check the BGSU Packing List online. This will allow you, as a prospective student, to see what BGSU recommends. I personally followed this for the most part. There were some things that I felt as though were not necessary for me. I knew that I needed to stock up on the basic necessities (i.e shampoo, soap, towels, toothpaste, etc.). Depending on the residence hall you live in you may need to bring things such as toilet paper, bathroom cleaning supplies and shower curtain... but in McDonald you won't need those items. 

If you are living in McDonald or another traditional hall there are a few things I would definitely recommend. To start, bring shower shoes because you will be sharing a bathroom with roughly 40 other people. Definitely bring a fan or two. Since McDonald has no air conditioning in the room, it can and will get warm in the building during the first few weeks. I would also recommend bringing command strips if you are wanting to hang posters or tapestries. If you don't, when it does get warm, tape will stop sticking to the wall and you may end up with a poster laying on top of you one day.

Overall, just plan and do research what to bring and what not to bring. It may seem like you need everything in your room from home, but most likely you will not. 

Kohl Hall Ambassador . Class of 2022 . Cincinnati, Ohio . Business Major .

Moving into college is a milestone many students will go through. It is both an exciting and stressful time. For me, this milestone occurred on August 24, 2018, when I moved into Kohl Hall. This day for me was so amazing and exciting since I did prior preparation and shopped throughout the summer regarding dorm items that were listed by BGSU on their Packing List.. A lot of these are things I personally use every day. The Packing List is very useful, and I definitely recommend it for Kohl because most things listed are needed. Also, I definitely recommend going to Target for your dorm shopping since Target sells a lot of necessary items at an affordable price that is also super cute.

Kohl Hall has A/C in the main areas but not in the bedrooms. During move-in day, it will probably be hot so I recommend once you check-in, get your room keys and go to your room, open the window and plug in fans.

Bring as many fans as you can if you live in Kohl because if you are someone who doesn’t like the heat or has acne problems like me, then you will need a fan or two to cool off the room during the first few weeks of school. But after that, the weather will cool off real fast.

When you get to your room, don’t waste any time unpacking because moving in takes a while and at night, activities begin for first-year students. For me, the process of unpacking and moving in took about 5 hours, so I recommend unpacking and putting away the necessities first.

Furthermore, if you or your parent has a car, then take a quick trip to purchase anything extra because, in my case, I packed a lot of extra things, which led to a longer unpacking time. The reason I say this is because if you are going to need help from family members, they can only stay for a little while so use that time to your advantage and do the things that are more important such as setting up your bedding, closet/drawer, fridge, storage area, etc. Move-in day is an exciting time, so as long as you follow the Packing List, bring things you use on a daily basis, and use your time wisely on move-in day, you will be ready to take on college and dorm life at Kohl!

Kreischer Hall Ambassador . Class of 2022 . Columbus, Ohio . Business Major .

Move-in day is the day all incoming freshmen are most excited about. They typically ask multiple questions on what they should bring. Are they over packing? And many more. I recommend going to the BGSU Residence Life page and looking at the packing list. Essentially you should bringing everything that you use on a daily basis such as lots of soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, hair necessities etc. I recommend making a list of all the things that you use everyday.

Now that you got the important stuff out of the way you can then focus on how you would like to decorate your room. Most people purchase a tv, fridge and microwave but you should coordinate with your roommate because you shouldn’t need two of each thing due to the lack of space in the room.

When packing everything up I recommend trying to get everything in as few containers as possible so move-in will be quick. Also, keep in consideration where you will store your bags. Kreischer’s rooms aren’t the biggest but it has quite a bit of built-in shelves and a big wardrobe. But I still suggest only bringing what you need that way your room isn’t cluttered.

Be mindful of what hall you are in and whether your bathroom is community style or private. Kreischer has community bathrooms which means we don't have to clean them and BGSU provides toilet paper. Private bathrooms have to be maintained by the roommates in the room.

On a final note, hundreds of students will be moving into the same building at the same time. There will be volunteers to help get things out of your vehicle and into your room but your help may be needed. This is a stressful process but you will be able to relax soon after. Follow the move-in guide BGSU sends you and everything will go smoothly.

Falcon Heights Hall Ambassador . Class of 2021 . Ashtabula, Ohio . Biology Major

It's finally that time, the most exciting and nerve-wracking time; moving into your college dorm. So what do you pack? Whose advice do you consider? Most of all, where do you start?

Take a step back for a moment so you don't overwhelm yourself, and take note of the things you use most in your day-to-day life: clothes, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, towels, pillows, blankets, chargers, laptop, tv, phone, etc. Some things may seem like you can't live without, while others you may realize you do not use as much as you thought you did.

When I first got accepted to college I had that “a-ha!” moment followed by a “what's next?” moment. My head was spinning with ideas, just like a BGSU Pinterest board. I started with web searches tailored to college essentials and more specifically, BGSU essentials; I obviously didn’t need a bed, desk, or dresser, but I did need bathroom necessities and bedding. After many hours of searching and compiling a list of necessities, I began budgeting. Luckily I got accepted right before my senior year of high school and had a job, which allowed me to begin collecting items early on. Really, it started with soaps and ended with snacks.

If I could change anything about the way I searched and packed, now that I have spent two years in the halls, it would definitely be to take a step back and stop over-thinking it. I packed things I used maybe once a month, and ended up sending them all home during Thanksgiving Break like summer clothing.

A piece of advice you may want to follow is, contacting your roommate as soon as you get a chance; no one needs two microwaves, two refrigerators, eight sets of string lights, or in some room layouts, two shower curtains.

P.S. Look at the Packing List provided by Res Life.

Centennial Hall Ambassador . Class of 2022 . Mansfield, Ohio . Education Major .

Move-in day can seem very stressful, especially if you live far away from campus. For me, I started packing two weeks in advance and constantly double and triple checked my stuff. Even with my planning, I packed a lot of 'junk' I didn't need and left things at home I should have brought with me.

Because I ended up bringing a lot of stuff I didn't need I ended up taking a bunch back home, which was a pain. A place you can save some space is spreading out when you bring your warm/cold weather clothes. You aren't going to need these at the same time so it is a good idea to just pick up winter clothes during Thanksgiving break, and get summer clothes during spring break.

The items I wish I brought with me at move-in were: TV, violin (you can definitely find a place to practice your instrument), extra storage for food and shoes, and I made the mistake of not bringing extra toilet paper (because Centennial has in-room bathrooms).

I recommend checking out Res Life’s Packing List for a good idea of what to pack. Yes, move-in day does suck, but it can suck less if you listen to what I'm saying. Try to pack in as few boxes as possible to streamline the process and limit the number of people you bring with you. Do not show up to move-in with mom, dad, brother, sister, grandma and grandpa. Say goodbye at home. My dad and my brother came with me and it went pretty smoothly. More people = more crowding. You're going to get a big box to pile stuff in, but I would recommend a dolly or hand truck if you are bringing a fridge and microwave. The people helping are actually a lot of help so don't be afraid to use them.

I live in Centennial which has a private bathroom in the room. If you are staying in a residence hall with a private bathroom, you should connect with your roommate before buying anything. Here is what I suggest you bring:

  • Shower Curtain and Rings
  • Floor mat
  • Towels
  • Toilet Paper
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Plunger
  • Hangable Shower Caddy

Conklin Hall Ambassador . Class of 2022 . Minerva, Ohio . Business Major . 

Move-in day is so exciting! The day will finally come and you will move away from home and learning to be on your own. But first, you have to pack. If you need help on what to bring, worry not! The Office of Residence Life offers a generalized packing list for all students to use and it will help you narrow down list of necessities to bring.

I do not suggest bringing every season’s clothes and shoes with you all at once because there is not enough space to store it. I suggest bringing your summer and fall clothes together when you first move in. You do not have tons and tons of space like you do at home to keep every season’s clothing here at once. Bring your shorts, jeans and leggings, and lighter coats but leave the snow coats and heavy clothing at home for a while. When it starts getting colder you can go home and exchange the light and warm weather clothes for your heavy and cold weather clothes.

I do recommend bringing an umbrella or rain jacket when you move-in because it will rain and you will have to walk to class in it!

Definitely bring your necessities like your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, towels, washcloths, toothbrush and toothpaste, and hair brush. Of course if you are a girl, do not forget your hair dryer, curler and straightener.

Also, I definitely recommend a fridge and microwave, and if you are a coffee addict like myself, maybe even a Keurig! There is also no need to bring tons of pots and pans or a sweeper. Items like that are available for you to check-out any time for free down at the front desk of any residence hall.

On move-in day don't feel like you have to bring your snacks and stuff. You can buy that once you get here. To save some space I went to Walmart after I moved in to get my items like my shampoo, conditioner, water bottles, snacks, Gatorade, etc. This saved me room in my vehicle when moving in and saved me a time when moving in so I could focus on unpacking the bigger and more important items first.

I live in Conklin which has community style bathrooms. Because of this, I made sure I packed a robe to wear from my room to the bathroom, a shower caddy to hold my shampoo, conditioner and soap, and shower shoes since the showers are used by all the girls on my floor.

One other thing that is unique about Conklin is the fact that all the rooms have wooden floors. So I found having a Swiffer was really nice. I brought my own because I do enjoy cleaning and I like to clean my floors at least once a week and with my own cleaning supplies I know how my room got cleaned.

When it comes to move-in day it can be so exciting! When you move in, your roommate and yourself will be given the same time to move-in. Although, I was late and did not make it to my actual move-in time because of traffic and traveling with so many people obviously leads to more stops. So when I got to BGSU my roommate was mostly moved in and she finished up while I started unpacking. Before you get up to your room though, you will unpack your car into rolling boxes that the Office of Residence Life provides. After I unpacked my car I had my dad and little brother roll my boxes up to Conklin while I went inside and checked myself in to get my key and personal entry device (PED). Overall the experience is very smooth and the helpers and workers will help you get to where you are supposed to be and get your things unpacked.

Founders Hall Ambassador . Class of 2022 . Sylvania, Ohio . Physics Major .

Packing. That daunting task for move-in. What will I need? What is too much? Do I have enough? Relax, take a breath. It will be fine. Before I started packing, I made a list of what I thought I would need for college. I then looked it up online to see if I was missing anything. Me being me, I made a spreadsheet and separated the items into various categories with each item having a “have” or “buy” box, so I knew what items I already had and what would be good to purchase. Some items I did not purchase at all as I had other items that could do the job. For some of the larger items, such as a tv, fridge, microwave, my other roommates brought them. We talked pretty early to see who would bring what so that we didn't have duplicates.

Once I had what I needed, I started to pack. I bought moving boxes from the hardware store and utilized bags/backpacks that I was already bringing to pack. I used a nice hack when I came back from winter break by using vacuum seal bags to pack my clothes, sheets, blankets, and other fabric items so I could save space in my car. Only pack what you need and a few items that may be used in various occasions.

I recommend trying to get everything in as few containers as possible so that move-in will be quick. Even if you have a lot of stuff packed, Founders has a lot of storage. There is a nice wardrobe, with a shelf on the top, a clothes rack, and a drawer underneath. There is also a dresser and a movable under-desk drawer. I tend to over-pack and have fit most of the things I brought in the storage provided.

Many people will be moving into the same building at the same time. Residence Life will have volunteers to help get things out of your vehicle and into rolling carts for transport to your room. Keep in mind the building you will be living in since some may have only a few elevators, so you may have to wait to get to your room. When packing, keep things you will need out first in a separate box or on top. Clothes can be unpacked later as that usually is the largest item. 

For Founders, bring your own set of cleaning supplies, toilet papers, paper towels, etc. because they can run out fast. Talk with your roommate about a shower curtain and other items you may want in the common area. In my room, we have a TV, DVD player, and a microwave. Others have brought gaming systems as well.

For more, check out Res Life's packing list.